The Gown
The Gown

Ah, wedding dress shopping, it’s super fun, but it can also be super stressful - especially when you’re doing it right before your wedding. Whether you’re having a super short engagement, decided to elope or have waited until the last-minute to hunt down your wedding gown, we’re here to help.

Here are a few tips for last-minute wedding dress shopping.

Know that you may not get the dress of your dreams

I know this sounds harsh, but if you’re shopping for your wedding dress in the weeks leading up to your wedding, you’re probably going to need to make a few compromises. Of course, you should love your gown, but there’s a good chance it won’t have every single one of your desired details. Nail down big picture things like the wedding dress silhouette and style and aim to get those right - the beading, embroidery and accents, shouldn’t be your main focus. Pro tip: look at white, ivory or metallic bridesmaid dresses, too, as the lead time for ordering could be within your time frame.

The internet is your friend

Check out the sites of local boutiques and big names, like David’s Bridal or ASOS, to see if you can order your gown online. It may not be as easy as Amazon Priming goodies to your front door, but it can be a lot less stressful than running around from boutique to boutique. Plus, you may be able to score some sweet deals if you can find a discount code. P.S. you’ll probably need to get a seamstress to do some work on it, so line one up before you check out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. 

Don’t knock preloved styles

If you want to score and save big, look for a second-hand wedding dress. You can look for these in vintage shops, bridal boutiques and even online, so they’re not hard to come by. The difficult part is definitely finding something your size and style, so you may have to do a little bit of digging.

Diego and Liza Photography
Diego and Liza Photography

Hunt for sales

Who doesn’t love a good sale? Wedding dresses are expensive, and you may be able to score big if you find a trunk show, pop-up or sample sale. Start by checking out the exclusive discount offers in our bridal salon directory. Then visit the sites and social pages of your local retailers to see if they’re having any in-store (or online) deals or promotions in the near future. If you come up dry, we recommend sending out a few emails - they may be able to offer you something on a sample gown, even if it wasn’t advertised on their site.

Check your local fashion retailer

Even if a fashion retailer or department store doesn’t have a specific wedding dress section, you may be able to find a white dress that fits the occasion perfectly. Retailers, like Hudson’s Bay and Nordstrom, stock a bevy of beautiful cocktail and party dresses, so check ‘em out.

Rent your gown

Many grooms rent their wedding suits, and you can do the same with a wedding dress rental! Instead of shelling out the big bucks for a beautiful gown, borrow it from a retailer or online site. Keep in mind that, since these are rentals, you won’t be able to alter or customize them - so pay attention to every detail and choose carefully!

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